Portrait of Pietro Perugino

Pietro Perugino - Painting Reproductions Gallery 2 of 3

1446-1524

Italian Early Renaissance Painter

Pietro di Cristoforo Vanucci - Perugino (1446-1524) was the leading painter of the Umbrian school, who developed some of the qualities that found classic expression in the High Renaissance.

Early years
He was born Pietro Vannucci in Citta della Pieve, Umbria, the son of Cristoforo Vannucci; his nickname characterizes him as from Perugia, the chief city of Umbria.

Pietro painted at Arezzo, thence moved to Florence. The date of this first Florentine sojourn is by no means settled; some make it as early as 1470, others push the date to 1479. According to Vasari, he apprenticed in the atelier of Andrea del Verrocchio alongside Leonardo da Vinci. He may have learned perspective from Piero della Francesca. In 1472 he must have completed his apprenticeship, for he was enrolled as a painter in the confraternity of St Luke.

Perugino was one of the earliest Italian practitioners of oil painting. Some of his early works were extensive frescoes for the convent of the Ingesati fathers, destroyed during the siege of Florence, 1537; he produced for them also many cartoons, which they executed with brilliant effect in stained glass. A good specimen of his early style in tempera is the tondo (circular picture) in the Musee du Louvre of the Virgin and Child Enthroned between Saints.

In Rome
Perugino returned from Florence to Perugia, where his Florentine training showed in the Adoration of the Magi for the church of Santa Maria dei Servi (ca 1476). In about 1480, he was called to Rome to fresco panels for the Sistine Chapel walls by Sixtus IV including Moses and Zipporah (often attributed to Luca Signorelli), the Baptism of Christ, and The Delivery of the Keys. Pinturicchio accompanied Perugino to Rome, and was made his partner, receiving a third of the profits. He may have done some of the Zipporah subject. The Sistine frescoes were the major high Renaissance commssion in Rome. The altar wall was also painted with the Assumption, the Nativity, and Moses in the Bulrushes. These works were later ruthlessly destroyed to make a space for Michelangelo's Last Judgement,
Perugino, aged forty, left Rome after completion of the Sistine Chapel work in 1486, and by autumn was in Florence. Here he figured by no means advantageously in a criminal court case. In July 1487 he and another Perugian painter named Aulista di Angelo were convicted, on their own confession, of having in December waylaid with staves someone in the streets near Pietro Maggiore. Perugino merely intended assault and battery, but Aulista meant to commit murder. The more illustrious culprit, guilty of the lesser offence, was fined ten gold florins, and the other was exiled for life.

Between 1486 and 1499 Perugino worked chiefly in Florence, making one journey to Rome and several to Perugia, where he may have maintained a second studio. He had an established studio in Florence, and received a great number of commissions. His Pieta (1495) in the Palazzo Pitti is an uncharacteristically stark work that avoids Perugino's sometimes too easy sentimental piety.

In 1499 the guild of the cambio (money-changers or bankers) of Perugia asked him to decorate their audience-hall (sala dell'udienza). The humanist Francesco Maturanzio acted as his consultant. This extensive scheme, which may have been finished by 1500, comprised the painting of the vault with the seven planets and the signs of the zodiac (Perugino being responsible for the designs and his pupils most probably for the execution) and the representation on the walls of two sacred subjects: the Nativity and Transfiguration; in addition, the Eternal Father, the cardinal virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude, Cato as the emblem of wisdom, and numerous life-sized figures of classic worthies, prophets and sibyls figured in the program. On the mid-pilaster of the hall Perugino placed his own portrait in bust-form. It is probable that Raphael, who in boyhood, towards 1496, had been placed by his uncles under the tuition of Perugino, bore a hand in the work of the vaulting.

Perugino was made one of the priors of Perugia in 1501. On one occasion Michelangelo told Perugino to his face that he was a bungler in art (goffo nell arte): Vannucci brought an action for defamation of character, unsuccessfully. Put on his mettle by this mortifying transaction, he produced the masterpiece of the Madonna and Saints for the Certosa of Pavia, now disassembled and scattered among museums: the only portion in the Certosa is God the Father with cherubim. An Annunciation has disappeared; three panels, the Virgin adoring the infant Christ, St. Michael and St. Raphael with Tobias are among the treasures of the National Gallery, London. This was succeeded in 1505 by an Assumption, in the Cappella dei Rabatta, in the church of the Servi in Florence. The painting may have been executed chiefly by a pupil, and was at any rate a failure: it was much decried; Perugino lost his students; and towards 1506 he once more and finally abandoned Florence, going to Perugia, and thence in a year or two to Rome.

Pope Julius II had summoned Perugino to paint the Stanza of the Incendio del Borgo in the Vatican City; but he soon preferred a younger competitor, Raphael, who had been trained by Perugino; and Vannucci, after painting the ceiling with figures of God the Father in different glories, in five medallion-subjects, retired from Rome to Perugia from 1512. Among his latest works, many of which decline into repetitious studio routine, one of the best is the extensive altarpiece (painted between 1512 and 1517) of the church of San Agostino in Perugia, also now dispersed.

Perugino's last frescoes were painted for the church of the Madonna delle Lacrime in Trevi (1521, signed and dated), the monastery of Sant'Agnese in Perugia, and in 1522 for the church of Castello di Fortignano. Both series have disappeared from their places, the second being now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was still at Fontignano in 1524 when he died of the the plague. Like other plague victims, he was hastily buried in an unconsecrated field, the precise spot now unknown.

Vasari is our chief, but not sole, authority for saying Perugino had very little religion, and openly doubted the soul's immortality. It is difficult to reconcile this discrepancy, and certainly not a little difficult also to suppose that Vasari was totally mistaken in his assertion; he was born twenty years before Perugino's death, and must have talked with scores of people to whom the Umbrian painter had been well known. We have to remark that Perugino in 1494 painted his own portrait, now in the Uffizi Gallery, and into this he introduced a scroll lettered Timete Deum. That an open disbeliever should inscribe himself with Timete Deum seems odd. The portrait in question shows a plump face, with small dark eyes, a short but well-cut nose, and sensuous lips; the neck is thick, the hair bushy and frizzled, and the general air imposing. The later portrait in the Cambio of Perugia shows the same face with traces of added years. Perugino died possessed of considerable property, leaving three sons.

In 1495 he signed and dated a Deposition for the Florentine convent of Santa Chiara (Palazzo Pitti). Towards 1496 he frescoed a Crucifixion, commissioned in 1493 for Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi, Florence (the Pazzi Crucifixion). The attribution to him of the picture of the marriage of Joseph and the Virgin Mary (the Sposalizio) now in the museum of Caen, which indisputably served as the original, to a great extent, of the still more famous Sposalizio painted by Raphael in 1504 (Accademia di Brera, Milan), is now questioned, and it is assigned to Lo Spagna. A vastly finer work of Perugino's was the polyptych of the Ascension of Christ painted ca 1496-98 for the church of S. Pietro of Perugia, (Municipal Museum, Lyon); the other portions of the same altarpiece are dispersed in other galleries.

In the chapel of the Disciplinati of Citta della Pieve is an Adoration of the Magi, a square of 6.5 m containing about thirty life-sized figures; this was executed, with scarcely credible celerity, from the 1st to 25th of March (or thereabouts) in 1505, and must no doubt be in great part the work of Vannucci's pupils. In 1507, when the master's work had for years been in a course of decline and his performances were generally weak, he produced. nevertheless, one of his best; pictures - the Virgin between Saint Jerome and Saint Francis, how in the Palazzo Penna. In the church of S. Onofrio in Florence is a much lauded and much debated fresco of the Last Supper, a careful and blandly correct but uninspired work; it has been ascribed to Perugino by some connoisseurs, by others to Raphael; it may more probably be by some different pupil of the Umbrian master.

Among his pupils were Raphael, upon whose early work Perugino's influence is most noticeable, and Giovanni di Pietro (lo Spagna).

51 Paintings of Perugino

Dead Christ, 1495 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Dead Christ 1495

Oil Painting
$1124
Canvas Print
$66.92
SKU: PPE-8561
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 55.5 x 57 cm
Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria Perugia Italy

Lamentation over the Dead Christ, 1495 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Lamentation over the Dead Christ 1495

Oil Painting
$12920
Canvas Print
$62.08
SKU: PPE-8562
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 214 x 195 cm
Palazzo Pitti Florence Italy

Madonna of the Confraternity of the Consolazione, c.1496/98 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Madonna of the Confraternity of the Consolazione c.1496/98

Oil Painting
$2304
SKU: PPE-8563
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 183 x 130 cm
Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria Perugia Italy

Sepulcrum Christi, 1498 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Sepulcrum Christi 1498

Oil Painting
$2136
Canvas Print
$52.79
SKU: PPE-8564
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 92.6 x 71.8 cm
The Clark Art Institute Massachusetts USA

Resurrection of Christ, c.1499 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Resurrection of Christ c.1499

Oil Painting
$4251
Canvas Print
$47.09
SKU: PPE-8565
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 233 x 165 cm
Pinacoteca Vatican Vatican City

Saint Sebastian, c.1500 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Saint Sebastian c.1500

Oil Painting
$1028
Canvas Print
$47.09
SKU: PPE-8566
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 76.7 x 53.4 cm
Art Museum at Princeton University New Jersey USA

Marriage of the Virgin, c.1500/03 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Marriage of the Virgin c.1500/03

Oil Painting
$12079
Canvas Print
$52.79
SKU: PPE-8567
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 234 x 185 cm
Musee des Beaux Arts Caen France

Deposition of the Cross, c.1503/06 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Deposition of the Cross c.1503/06

Oil Painting
$12479
Canvas Print
$45.98
SKU: PPE-8568
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 333 x 218 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia Florence Italy

Saint John the Baptist with Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Jerome, Saint Sebastian and Saint Anthony, c.1505/10 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Saint John the Baptist with Saint Francis of ... c.1505/10

Oil Painting
$4286
SKU: PPE-8569
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: unknown
Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria Perugia Italy

Baptism of Christ, 1512 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Baptism of Christ 1512

Oil Painting
$3945
Canvas Print
$44.98
SKU: PPE-8570
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 265 x 148 cm
Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria Perugia Italy

Archangel Raphael with Tobias (Certosa Altarpiece), c.1496/00 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Archangel Raphael with Tobias (Certosa Altarpiece) c.1496/00

Oil Painting
$1990
Canvas Print
$44.98
SKU: PPE-8571
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 113 x 56 cm
National Gallery London United Kingdom

The Virgin and Child with an Angel (Certosa Altarpiece), c.1496/00 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

The Virgin and Child with an Angel (Certosa Altarpiece) c.1496/00

Oil Painting
$2341
Canvas Print
$44.98
SKU: PPE-8572
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 113.7 x 63.8 cm
National Gallery London United Kingdom

The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Francis, c.1507/15 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Francis c.1507/15

Oil Painting
$2647
Canvas Print
$56.50
SKU: PPE-8574
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 185.5 x 152.5 cm
National Gallery London United Kingdom

Saint Jerome in Penitence, c.1481/91 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Saint Jerome in Penitence c.1481/91

Oil Painting
$1219
SKU: PPE-8575
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 79.4 x 58.7 cm
The Royal Collection London United Kingdom

Madonna and Saints Adoring the Child, Undated by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Madonna and Saints Adoring the Child Undated

Oil Painting
$2694
Canvas Print
$56.39
SKU: PPE-8576
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 87.6 x 72.1 cm
The Morgan Library & Museum New York USA

Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist and Two Angels, 1505 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist and ... 1505

Oil Painting
$1685
SKU: PPE-8577
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: unknown
Musee des Beaux Arts Nancy France

Madonna and Child with St. Catherine and St. Rosa, 1493 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Madonna and Child with St. Catherine and St. Rosa 1493

Oil Painting
$2267
Canvas Print
$51.92
SKU: PPE-8578
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 86.5 x 63 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Austria

Baptism of Christ, c.1498/00 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Baptism of Christ c.1498/00

Oil Painting
$1931
Canvas Print
$44.98
SKU: PPE-8579
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 30 x 23 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Austria

Virgin and Child, Undated by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Virgin and Child Undated

Oil Painting
$1660
SKU: PPE-8580
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 77.3 x 56 cm
Courtauld Institute of Art London United Kingdom

Saint Antonio da Padova and Saint Sebastiano, c.1476/78 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Saint Antonio da Padova and Saint Sebastiano c.1476/78

Oil Painting
$1479
Canvas Print
$44.98
SKU: PPE-8581
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: unknown
Private Collection

Portrait of a Man, c.1503/04 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Man c.1503/04

Oil Painting
$1065
Canvas Print
$44.98
SKU: PPE-8582
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 45 x 31 cm
Galleria Borghese Rome Italy

Madonna and Child with Saint John, c.1480/85 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Madonna and Child with Saint John c.1480/85

Oil Painting
$1959
Canvas Print
$44.98
SKU: PPE-8583
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 68.5 x 44.5 cm
National Gallery London United Kingdom

Annunciation of Fano, c.1489 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

Annunciation of Fano c.1489

Oil Painting
$3591
Canvas Print
$53.66
SKU: PPE-8584
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: 212 x 172 cm
Public Collection

St. Sebastian, c.1489/90 by Perugino | Painting Reproduction

St. Sebastian c.1489/90

Oil Painting
$1247
Canvas Print
$44.98
SKU: PPE-8585
Pietro Perugino
Original Size: unknown
Private Collection

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